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J Biol Chem. 1996 Aug 2;271(31):18456-64.

Undersulfation of proteoglycans synthesized by chondrocytes from a patient with achondrogenesis type 1B homozygous for an L483P substitution in the diastrophic dysplasia sulfate transporter.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Biochimica "Alessandro Castellani," UniversitĂ  di Pavia, 27100 Pavia, Italy.


Achondrogenesis type 1B is an autosomal recessive, lethal chondrodysplasia caused by mutations in the gene encoding a sulfate/chloride antiporter of the cell membrane (Superti-Furga, A., Hästbacka, J., Wilcox, W. R., Cohn, D. H., van der Harten, J. J., Rossi, A., Blau, N., Rimoin, D. L., Steinmann, B., Lander, E. S., and Gitzelmann, R.(1996) Nat. Genet. 12, 100-102). To ascertain the consequences of the sulfate transport defect on proteoglycan synthesis, we studied the structure and sulfation of proteoglycans in cartilage tissue and in fibroblast and chondrocyte cultures from a fetus with achondrogenesis 1B. Proteoglycans extracted from epiphyseal cartilage and separated on agarose gels migrated more slowly than controls and stained poorly with alcian blue. The patient's cultured cells showed reduced incorporation of [35S]sulfate relative to [3H]glucosamine, impaired uptake of sulfate, and higher resistance to chromate toxicity compared to control cells. Epiphyseal chondrocytes cultured in alginate beads synthesized proteoglycans of normal molecular size as judged by gel filtration chromatography, but undersulfated as judged by ion exchange chromatography and by the amount of nonsulfated disaccharide. High performance liquid chromatography analysis of chondroitinase-digested proteoglycans showed that sulfated disaccharides were present, although in reduced amounts, indicating that at least in vitro, other sources of sulfate can partially compensate for sulfate deficiency. A t1475c transition causing a L483P substitution in the eleventh transmembrane domain of the sulfate/chloride antiporter was present on both alleles in the patient who was the product of a consanguineous marriage. The results indicate that the defect of sulfate transport is expressed in both chondrocytes and fibroblasts and results in the synthesis of proteoglycans bearing glycosaminoglycan chains which are poorly sulfated but of normal length.

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